We received a highly interesting sample from researchers at the University of Eberswalde, which we microscopically analyzed with our Coxem SEM-EDX tabletop instrument . The Department for Sustainable Development researches the use of natural materials and investigates, among other things, the aging of wood.
Employees from the Wood Engineering Department sent us an aged wood sample with a typical discoloration. With our Coxem scanning electron microscope we have imaged the microstructure at high resolution and carried out an elemental analysis of the discoloration.
Our analysis has shown that the aging of the wood is caused by bacterial decomposition. The bacteria settle on the wooden surface and deposit carbonate material, which shows up as discoloration on the surface. The bacteria themselves are only a few micrometers in size, the carbonate structures spread over the entire surface. The carbonate was identified by the presence of calcium in the element spectrum (EDX).